Scotland is overflowing with wild, watery expanses. If you have always dreamed of navigating your way around distant isles and canals, being a sea captain or gliding gracefully across a misty loch, you’re on the right course. Scotland has a seafaring adventure for everyone, from novice sailors to experienced skippers.

With spacious harbours and anchorages set against dramatic coastlines, Scotland is an unbeatable place to charter your boat or learn to sail.

Learning the ropes

Don’t know your port from starboard? You’ve come to the right place. Mastering the waves is easy with a huge selection of Royal Yachting Association (RYA) approved establishments.

Places to drop anchor

The number and quality of marinas and pontoon facilities up and down the country has kept pace with Scotland’s growing popularity as a cruising destination.

These docking points cater for all classes of boat and many are superbly equipped. They are ideal for refuelling, stocking up on provisions for the rest of your trip or simply enjoying some time on dry land. Here are a few places you can moor:

  • Mull of Kintyre
  • Firth of Clyde
  • Orkney & Shetland

Yacht charters

Scotland's many yacht charter companies offer visiting sailors a wide selection of craft and cruise locations to choose from. Whether your preference is for power or sail, self-sail or skippered, classic or modern, there's a charter for you. You can choose between:

Bareboat charters

Most - but not all - charter companies are based on the west coast and offer a wide variety of boats. Bareboat charters do not provide a crew or a skipper, so you can sail away on your own terms and follow your own itinerary.

Skippered charters

If you're new to sailing or even if you're an experienced sailor but new to Scottish waters, why not charter a skippered vessel and let an experienced hand take over and do the organising, navigating and sailing?

Browse the listings at Welcome Anchorages, a comprehensive guide to shore facilities around Scotland and the north Irish coast.

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